Happy Thursday. Wherever you are, I hope it is warm. If not, summer is right around the corner! We have another great newsletter today with news about a crashed Rimac, EVs in Manual, Mercedes, the Super Bowl, DeLorean, Baidu, and more.
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While I was watching the Super Bowl this Sunday, (really upset the Bengals did not win, don’t want to talk about it) I noticed that 6 out of the 7 car commercials were advertising electric vehicles. Naturally, I was distracted from my despair and was thrilled to see so many EV commercials. Startup Polestar featured its Polestar 2 and GM featured five new EVs expected to launch in the middle of the decade. BMW, Kia, Chevy, Nissan, and Toyota also advertised their latest developments in the electric vehicle sector.
My take on the commercials? I enjoyed GM’s commercial with Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil the most. I noticed the commercial focused on the looming issue of climate change and inferred that purchasing an electric vehicle is a way citizens can join the fight against climate change and help protect our environment. In my opinion, advertisements work best when they offer simple steps to achieve a larger goal. In addition, by featuring Dr. Evil and many famous actors such as Rob Lowe, the commercial reached a broad range of generations, especially those who are not as knowledgeable about electric vehicles. That is extremely important right now as society considers the adoption of electric vehicles.
In other EV News
- Siemens eMobility and Ford are joining together to develop the Ford Charging Station Pro, a unique EV-charging solution for the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning. The charger is an 80-amp level 2 charging station and uses a CCS connector. According to InsideEVs, the charger may cost around $2,500-$3,000 when it is up for sale. What is impressive about this charging solution, is that it is bi-directional, and you can power sources with your F-150.
- Toyota has applied for a patent that allows the company to simulate a manual transmission for EVs. I know, I know, it’s only simulated, but Toyota says it will feel very similar to driving an ICE vehicle. This will allow Toyota to blend the new tech of EVs with the old school feel of manual transmissions. In more news, Toyota has given the world another sneak peek of the “possible” Lexus electric sports vehicles.
- The Biden Administration has allocated the first round of funding to states for electric vehicle charging infrastructure around high traffic corridors. Outlined in the guidance released by the Federal Highway Administration, the federal government will pay 80% of the new infrastructure while states are expected to cover the other 20%. New details will be available in 90 days, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get future updates.
- DeLorean is teasing their next company goal, to reinvent themselves as an electric vehicle manufacturer. However, no specific details have been announced for any cars in the making. Somewhere out there, Marty McFly and Doc Brown are getting excited.
- Mercedes announced the AMG EQE, a high-performance EV, modeled after the company’s electric E-class sedan. The AMG EQE with the Dynamic Plus package will launch from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and can reach a top speed of 149 mph. The EQE with the Dynamic Plus will have dual motors and produce 677 horsepower and 738 ft-lbs of torque.
- Fisker’s new EV, the Fisker PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution), won’t arrive until 2024. However, Fisker has already opened reservations for the vehicle with a starting rate of $29,900. The PEAR focuses on a sports-style vehicle with top-of-the-line tech and lots of storage. Time to put my name on the reservation list!
JéGO Technologies, Inc., a Black-owned tech firm in Miami, has officially launched the manufacturing process for JéGO pods, an autonomous pod. The Pod will act as a mobile doctor’s office, offering services like flu testing, IV therapy and more. To test the technology before it is commercialized, interested users can try the Pod out in the Metaverse. If those do not interest you, JéGO is also jumping in the NFT game. Amazing!
Other AV News
- Trenton, NJ received a $5 million state grant to boost autonomous transportation in the city.
- ElectraMeccanica has partnered with autonomous technology company Faction Technology, Inc. to offer ElectraMeccanica’s SOLO EVs to a pilot program where Faction’s autonomous platform can be tested for food deliveries. ElectraMeccanica will offer 24 of their SOLO EVs over the course of 2022 for Faction to test out their self-driving technology.
- The Mississippi State Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems is collaborating with the U.S. Army to train autonomous vehicles to drive through rough terrain where traffic lights and lane markers don’t exist. The purpose of the collaboration is for data gathering which will be conducted on a 50-acre site and collect hundreds of gigabytes in 60ish seconds.
- The U.S. Army has had trouble manufacturing all-terrain autonomous vehicles for the military’s specific needs. Therefore, a Pentagon “Innovation Network” held a hackathon to recruit engineers willing to solve the issue with a cash prize of $15,000 each. MVision, Biceps and ATVision all won the $15,000 prize for their pitches. Congrats!
- Baidu’s Apollo robotaxis had the opportunity to transport Olympic attendees in Beijing during the 2022 Winter Olympics. While Beijing’s strict COVID-19 policies did not allow the athletes to ride in the robotaxis, many civilians were able to test the car. The 2022 Olympics offer a fantastic opportunity to test autonomous vehicles in a real-world setting, and Baidu definitely took advantage of it.